Staff Photo: John Bohn
Gwinnett County police investigate the scene of a homicide at a home located in the 1200 block of Mill Shyre Way, Lawrenceville Friday afternoon.
LAWRENCEVILLE — Police believe a man shot dead in another’s Lawrenceville driveway Friday afternoon was killed in self defense.
Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said officers responded to the home on the 1200 block of Mill Shyre Way at about 2:50 p.m. Friday after the shooter asked a neighbor to call 911. According to the initial investigation, the adult male victim — whose identity was not released — was entering the home’s garage while carrying a large, rounded piece of wood.
The resident, also not identified, pulled out a small-caliber handgun and shot the man once. The believed assailant was dead at the scene. His body was lying in the driveway as media arrived, a small trickle of blood coming from his forehead.
The two men knew each other, Smith said, though their relationship and exactly was transpired weren’t clear Friday. The preliminary investigation leaned toward self defense, and the resident has not been charged.
“We don’t know if (the victim) was here and they got into some kind of argument and he picked something up that was in the garage,” Smith said, “or if he brought (the piece of wood) with him and anticipated having words or fighting with this guy.”
The shooter is cooperating with investigators, Smith said. The incident occurred at roughly 2:30 p.m. in a quiet pocket of Lawrenceville near Prospect Road.
“This whole area is relatively quiet,” Smith said. “It’s a nice neighborhood.”
Georgia’s self-defense statutes are fairly straightforward, Smith said. The avoid criminal charges, the shooter will only have to prove that he believed his assailant posed a significant threat.
“You have to be able to articulate that you thought your life was in danger, or that somebody else’s life was in danger,” Smith said. “That’s about it.”